A blouse worn by Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady goes under the hammer June 28th with a minimum bid of $25,000.
Her “Ascot dress” is one of the most expensive film costumes ever sold fetching $3.7 million in 2011, which may have influenced this valuation after it reportedly sold for just $100,000 around the year 2000. The final price of this blouse will reflect on how a further seven years has affected the market for such memorabilia. The Costume Rag has previously considered if the raising value of film costumes might finally result in better standards for the talented costumers who actually make them.
The auction catalogue by Nate D. Sanders reads “Beautiful chiffon blouse, with Edwardian-style high neck, owned by Audrey Hepburn and designed under the influence of Cecil Beaton for My Fair Lady. Blouse very closely resembles the one worn by Hepburn in the ‘Rain in Spain’ and ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’, and is likely a prototype for that item; the only notable difference is a ruffle at the bottom of the sleeves on this blouse. Ivory chiffon blouse is woven with a silk stripe, with cuffs and neck trimmed with a ruffle and accentuated by self-covered snap buttons, which also close the front of the garment. Blouse is couture-sewn, with hand-finished seams, but with cotton facing on the interior neck and cuffs for the purpose of rigidity.”
Cecil Beaton won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for ‘My Fair Lady‘ as well as the Oscar for Best Art Direction with over 1000 costumes requried for the major production.
Whether enyone would dare to wear such an artefact or not, the auctioneers have provided the measurements of 13” across the shoulder seams and 27” long from neck seam to bottom. It is in generally good condition having been previously exhibited in exhibtions like Audrey Hepburn: Una Donna, Lo Stile in Florence. Also on sale are photographs of Hepburn by Cecil Beaton at $4000 each.